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HISTORY OF PERSIA

CHA1

Upon the death of Abraha his son Yaksum helc
the viceroyalty for only four years, to be succeeded bj
Masruk. It was during Masruk's reign that the famous
expedition was despatched by Noshirwan, which rcsultec
in the expulsion of the Abyssinians and the reinstate-
ment of the old Himyarite monarchs under the suzerainty
of the Great King. Tabari,1 who is the authority for
this campaign, states that Saif, upon his accession to the
throne, was visited by Abdul Muttsilib, who is known
to have died in A.D. 578. Consequently the date of this
campaign must have been between A.D. 574 and A.D. 578,
The Childhood^ Youth, and Early Manhood of Mohttmtd*
—The prospects of the infant Mohamed were not bright.
His father was dead and his entire property consisted of
a slave girl, five camels, some goats, and a house* At
the same time he possessed powerful relations. In
accordance with custom, the infant was entrusted to a
nomad woman, Halima of the Bent Sad, and among the
free sons of the desert Mohamed remained until he was
six years old. His constitution benefited by the open-
air life, although apparently he was subject to epileptic
fits. Moreover, the Beni Sad were held to speak the
purest Arabic, and the Prophet in after years used to
boast, <c Verily, I am the most perfect Arab amongst
you; my descent is from the KureLsh, and my tongue
is the tongue of the Beni Sad/' Among a people who
counted eloquence as the highest of gifts, this upbringing
was of great advantage, It is to the credit of Mohamed
that he never forgot his foster-mother, and always treated
her and her family with generosity and kindness, In his
sixth year the lad was taken back to Medina, and when he
returned there forty-seven years afterwards he was able to
identify the house and to recall the details of the life he
had led in it.
Amina shortly afterwards decided to take the child
to Mecca, but died on the road, The orphan was most
kindly treated by his grandfather until his own death,
which occurred when Mohamed \^as eight years old.
With this event the Hashimite branch of the family
1  VOU ii, pp. 30! ffi